Wilmington College conferred Distinguished Professional Achievement Awards upon a pair of local alumni during its annual Homecoming/Alumni Reunion Weekend in October.
Stephenie Paul Eriksson and Dr. Paul Moke, both of whom are Wilmington residents, received the citations as a result of their outstanding professional work.
Eriksson, a 1997 graduate, is a highly celebrated teacher with Blanchester Schools and Moke, Class of 1975 and a longtime professor of political science and criminal justice at WC, was honored for his work as an author, social justice advocate and effective faculty member.
Eriksson, who also earned her Master of Education at WC, is an English teacher at BHS. In 2015, she was named District 10 Teacher-of-the-Year and among the top five vying for Ohio Teacher-of-the-Year.
Phi Delta Kappa, the international honor society for educators, has honored her teaching and service to education, and she received the prestigious Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Master Teacher Award in 2011 and the state’s 2013 Outstanding High School English/Language Arts Educator Award.
“Stephenie, the Ohio Dept. of Education recognizes you as a Master Teacher — and so do we,” the award citation stated. “The Alumni Community is proud of your accomplishments and service on behalf of teaching and learning. Let your example shine as an inspiration to young men and women at WC studying to join this most noble of professions.”
Over the past 39 years, Moke has held the positions of academic coordinator for Project Talents, vice president for academic affairs and faculty member at Wilmington College. He also has been active as adviser for the mock trial team, which won a national championship in 2003, and as a facilitator for students learning the art of lobbying in Washington, D.C.
Outside of the campus, Moke has been a champion for social justice, serving as co-counsel in five major voting rights cases in Ohio. He served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio in the 1990s and the ACLU recognized its longtime board member in 2012 for “Outstanding Contributions to Civil Liberties.”
Last year, he published the acclaimed book, Earl Warren and the Struggle for Justice, which represents years of painstaking research that shined new light on one of the nation’s most remarkable chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.